Friday, August 19, 2011

Long overdue

I can't believe I haven't posted since valentine's day. I was 36 weeks pregnant with Noah. It was my "critical week" as the books call it. The week in which I lost Jacob. According to the books, things were supposed to get easier for me once I passed that week. I think getting past that week was certainly a milestone, but nothing was easy until that baby boy was in my arms.

38 weeks on the day I delivered my sweet Noah Boy. I'm so grateful my doctor (and my cervix) didn't make me wait another minute. After an induction and a very short labor and delivery, Noah was born February 28th @ 2:08pm. He was 6lbs 3oz 18 1/4 inches tall. The feeling was indescribable. Relief is an understatement. I never cried when Ava was born but I was sobbing when Noah arrived. I grabbed him immediately. Nothing felt better than that warm little body.

It was so hard at first. Those first few weeks being postpardum. I would hold Noah and think this is what it would have been like. He looked exactly like Jacob and Ava when he was born. All of my babies looked so much alike. But as time has gone on, Noah has changed and developed his own little personality. He is very much Noah.

We had Paula Lovelace take pictures of Noah right after he was born. What a blessing! Paula volunteers for Now I lay me Down to Sleep, a non-profit organization of photographers who take pictures for families who aren't fortunate enough to take their babies home from the hospital. She is the only volunteer in Wichita Falls. Thank God for special people like Paula. The pictures of Jacob are all I have of him. It was only fitting to have Paula capture that special moment for us.

So here I am 6 months later! Well, almost 6 months later. Noah will be 6 months old in about 10 days. I can't even believe it. We've adjusted just like any other family would with more than one baby. It was difficult at first, but I'm getting the hang of having more than one. I get the constant comments, "its different with your second" or "that second baby...." Always rolling my eyes with the thought that Noah is actually my third. The comments especially chap me when they come from family. But I understand. They mean 2 kids at home.

Noah has brought so much joy to our lives. He is such a happy baby! He is always smiling and he LOVES his momma. He has sure soothed his momma's broken heart. I can't help but think Jacob had a hand in his brother. I often wonder if Jacob would have been white like Noah. If he would have had those blue eyes. I don't think so. Jacob was born with a full head of black hair. I think he would have had dark features like Ava. I think he would have favored Yoshi.

It melts my heart to see Ava adoring her little brother. She wakes up in the morning and the first thing she wants is her Noah Boy. She says, "She's smiling at me!" I've told her 100 times HE is a HE! lol. Its precious. She loves her brother. She also knows that she has a baby brother in heaven. We talk about Jacob all the time. She says he is in heaven with Jesus. Then she wants to read her book about Jesus. I love it. I love that she knows he is with our heavenly Father and that he loves her.

Monday, February 14, 2011

36 weeks

Today marks 36 weeks in my pregnancy. Maybe that's why I can't sleep. Maybe I can't sleep because I get to check on Noah in 4 hours. I remember not sleeping at the end of my pregnancy with Ava but it was different. I was so uncomfortable and I had serious indigestion so I had to sleep in the recliner. With Noah, I haven't had the indigestion or discomfort so much as the anxiety. I know he's fine. He's rolling around in there, kicking the heck out of my side. Part of me just can't get past the fact that he could be perfectly fine one minute and gone the next. If I don't feel him move at any length of time I am poking and proding at him. I've probably gained 10lbs from lemonade alone because he goes crazy after i have lemonade.

This week is just another trigger. Jacob died at 36 weeks. It was at this point last year my little boy passed away and my whole world was turned upside down. I never imagined something like that would happen. I've been thinking so much lately about what it will be like to give birth again after our last experience. I am sure that my anxiety will be through the roof. But what will it be like when he's born? It makes me cry even thinking about holding a warm, screaming baby. It makes me cry to think about taking him home. I haven't been to the hospital since Jacob died. Going there is going to be a huge trigger. I wish I could deliver him in the old hospital, the one Ava was born in. It was a dump but I had a much better experience there.

Anytime some one tells me they are 36 weeks pregnant it makes my heart hurt. When I hear about a baby being born at 36 weeks it makes me sad. Just a month ago, my sweet nephew was born at 36 weeks. He was perfect, thank God, and went home right away. If things had only been different for Jacob, he would have gone home too.

I've just got to make it past this week. I survived Jacob's last birthday, now I've got this "critical week" then hopefully I've only got a few weeks until Noah arrives. I am starting to feel impatient, but after all of this I think I can handle a few more weeks.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A First Birthday in Heaven

It blows my mind to think a year has past. Tuesday, February 8 will be Jacob's first birthday. When I think about what I was doing last year at the time, it just breaks my heart. I was excited about my baby boy coming home soon. I had just finished his room and I was 9 months pregnant. I'd even started having some contractions on Sunday so I washed his clothes and went and bought him diapers. Little did I know, I was going into labor because something was wrong. We had friends over on Super Bowl Sunday and watched the game. I had no idea that would be my last night with Jacob. I had no idea what would come of my appointment the next morning.

Last week the doctor gave me my medical records to take home. I'm at that point in my pregnancy with Noah where I have to take them to every appointment in case I have to go L&D at some point. I've never read them before. It was sad to read "2 births, 1 living child" Under see additional it reads "Fetal demise 36 weeks, Severe Oligohydramnios, Chorioamnioitis- autopsy?" That just means I had nearly no fluid left and Jacob had an infection. The question mark indicates that the doctor isn't really sure about the autopsy results. According to the autopsy, Jacob died of infection. I was never sick, and my water never broke. We just honestly don't know what happened. There were some things in the autopsy report that just really didn't add up so I have little faith in it anyway. I came to terms with that fact that I'll never know a long time ago, but seeing this all printed on paper just hurt. It hurts because we will never know and it will always be there. He's never going to be here. Knowing why won't bring him back.

Today after exhausting every video I had, I got out Ava's video of when she was born. Yoshi made this awesome dvd of Ava in the hospital getting cleaned up, having her first bath, and taking her home. Ava got a real kick out of it. We must have watched it 8 times. Everytime it finished, she'd say, "One more time!" I haven't watched this video in a very long time. It made me cry. Its crazy, I never cried when Ava was born. I was overjoyed, but I was also overwhelmed. I didn't realize what a wonderful experience and gift I had until my last experience in the hospital. I remember whenever I was delivering Jacob there was only 1 nurse. There were no nurses there to take care of the baby. In Ava's video, you can hear my doctor and I in the background cutting up and visiting. I was totally clueless. I had no idea that things could have been so different. I was never worried about Ava. She couldn't keep her temperature up so she had to spend the first night in the nursery. I actually had to set my alarm to get up and feed her! Now, I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing my baby was not right next to me. The most painful part came at the end of the video. I was being wheeled out with Ava in her carseat. The smile on my face is 10 miles wide. I was so happy to take her home. Yoshi and I were so clueless. With Jacob, I left the hospital with a box. The nurses were kind to put the things he had worn and his pictures in a box. I didn't want to be wheeled out, so I carefully walked out of the hospital with a freaking box of what few momentos I have for my son.

The video hurt to watch but it also made me very excited. I can not wait to have that experience back again. I really feel hopeful that we will have a wonderful experience again here in just a few weeks. I know that I will be overcome with emotions this time. I haven't even walked into the hospital since Jacob died so just riding up the elevator might overwhelm me. Walking up the the 4th floor will be tough. Everything is going to be overwhelming. When I think about it my heart drops.

Our family will do something special for Jacob's birthday. I made a beautiful album of his things and his pictures. I got it in the mail recently so we'll spend time looking through it and showing Ava. Ava loves to look at Jacob's book. Yesterday she told me that "Ava loves Noah." Then she said, "Ava loves Jacob" I told her that her brothers loved her too. I'm going to make a cake so we can sing happy birthday and let Ava blow out a candle. I just want her to feel a part of the celebration and know what we are doing. I plan to get a few balloons so we can all write him a message and release them. I don't want to do anything big because I don't want to feel any disappointment, other than the disappointment of course of not celebrating with him.

I was talking with my dear friend last night who lost her daughter almost a year ago also. We've gone through this journey together. She said that she feels good about where she is a year later. I can honestly agree with her. When this first happened, I thought time would never pass. I couldn't imagine being a year out from my loss and I wondered where I would be. There were times when I thought the pain would never let up. I still miss him and think about him every day, but I can look at his album and talk about him and keep it together. She and I agreed that the worst part of it is behind us. We both have something so wonderful ahead of us also. I know that Noah will never replace Jacob and he is not Jacob, but he will bring us so much hope and happiness. His sister already gives us all the joy we have now. He's just going to double our happiness and help us to heal from all of this.

In all, I am looking forward to Jacob's birthday. It will be a sad reminder and I'm sure I'll look at the clock all day and think where I was at this time etc. But I am looking forward to celebrating his birth and I am looking forward to putting this awful year behind me. I never ever want to nor will I forget what happened, but when I think about Jacob, I don't want to feel sad. I want to feel love. I will never "move on" but I am ready to move forward and have some kind of normal life again.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What to do?

I've been feeling the need to get ready for Noah. But what do I do? Jacob died in my 9th month of pregnancy so I have an entire nursery decked out for a little boy. I never took the nursery down from Jacob. I just couldn't do it, then I got pregnant 4 months later. So I figured there was no sense in taking anything out because we weren't using the room anyways. I went through the closet and arranged the clothes and sorted toys. I took Jacob's personal things out like all the momentos from his funeral and personalized blankets. I took the things I made just for him and put them in a box to keep in our room. It was a difficult chore but I was finally ready for it, as ready as any mother can be, I guess. Jacob will be passing down most of his close and his nursery bedding to his little brother. I felt a little uneasy about it at first, but if we'd had another girl, she wouldn't have gotten all of ava's baby clothes and bedding also. It might be harder if Jacob had every set foot in his room, but he never even slept in his bed. We've even started calling the room "Noah's room." We always called it "Jacob's room." To make it feel like Noah's room, I made some cute letters to hang above the crib. That makes it feel like Noah's room. It feels wierd sometimes and I feel guilty. Like I'm doing out with the old, in with the new. But I've got to get ready for this baby. I haven't done a single thing until now for fear of jinxing it. This is a rediculous thought, as if preparing for a baby will make him die. God forbid I lose Noah too, I think I would want momentos from him. He deserves a room and special things. His brother and sister got them.

So, here are the letters I made for Noah:

Also, I figure I better get my scrapbooks up to date before Noah gets here because Lord knows, I won't have time with a new baby. I finished Jacob's album. Its beautiful. I put pictures from the hospital, his room, the funeral, scripture, poems and anything else I could possibly think of. Here is one page from his album:

And of course I had to get caught up on my sweet pea's album. I officially finished her 2nd year album and I am already up to Christmas 2010! I've never been this caught up before. Here is a page from miss Ava Claire's album:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A New Year, A New Blog and New Beginnings

This blog began with my angel Jacob. After losing my first son, I was encouraged to start blogging as a means of healing. I don't know if it really helped, but it was nice to share my son with the world. He never got a chance to live. He never took a breath, but he is very much alive in our hearts. Jacob is and will be a part of our family forever. We are learning to live with a son in heaven. Jacob is a part of our life every day so I decided to change the blog from just Jacob's blog to our family blog. This is our family now: A princess, an angel and a rainbow waiting to be seen.

This year couldn't be over fast enough! I've been itching to take down the tree since the day after Christmas. If it weren't for my husband not wanting to retrieve the boxes out of the attic, it would all be down since Christmas day. Don't get me wrong, I was happy to celebrate the birth of Jesus with my family. This was Ava's first Christmas where she understood that Santa Claus was coming and bringing her presents, and most importantly, it was Jesus' birthday. It was wonderful to see her so excited. Ava even helped me make cookies for Santa. It was so much fun.

If it weren't for Ava, Christmas would have been an absolute disaster. This year has been my year of firsts. This was our first Christmas without Jacob. The one thing that hurt the most was Christmas cards. This took me by surprise. It started with creating our own Christmas card. Do I include Jacob? I send out over 75 Christmas cards, so how will people react when Jacob's name is on the card. Is that weird? I knew I couldn't put his picture on there, people would not understand that at all since I don't have a living picture of Jacob. So I made an executive decision and for the sake of others and questions and comments, I left him off. Then the Christmas cards from friends started coming. Many of our friends have been blessed this year, and we are so happy for them. But seeing all the families of 4 was killer. It hurt because even when I have a family of 4, we should be a family of 5. We will forever be one person short. Its a horrible feeling. Some days it just hits me that I will not ever have a life on earth with my son.

I am also ready for the year to be over because Noah will be here soon. After the new yea,r I only have 9 weeks until he is here. I know that once school starts back up with Ava the time will fly. Also, weekly appointments start soon and that helps the time pass quickly as well. I am ready for time to pass. I am ready to get past being pregnant and terrified. For the last year my heart has been through a complete roller coaster. The devastation of losing Jacob in my 9th month of pregnancy and mourning his loss to becoming pregnant only 4 months after his death. Its amazing how one can be so happy and grief stricken at the same time. It's taken an emotional toll on me, and I am ready to move forward with our lives.

Another reason I am so anxious to leave 2010 in the dust, is that Jacob's birthday is approaching. Jacob was born on February 8th. Its going to be an emotional time, and I am just ready to get it over with. I want to celebrate his birthday in a way that can become a tradition with our family. I want Ava and her new brother Noah to always know about Jacob and know how old he would be. I want him to very much be a part of our family and not just always in my own heart. I will pass Jacob's birthday just as I enter the 9th month of this pregnancy. I am terrified of the dejavu. I am ready to face it and get past it.

I am mostly looking forward to the new year because of all the new beginnings it holds. I can't wait to no longer be in the year of firsts. I don't know if its going to be easier this year, but the first year was awful. I am ready to have this baby. My pregnancy with Noah has been like nothing I've ever experienced. My emotions are everywhere. I started feeling really good around 20 weeks. Things began to get a little easier. Now that I am approaching the home stretch, things are getting difficult again. My fear is unreal. I wake up constantly in the middle of the night and roll around until he moves. If I am too busy and don't feel him move, I panic, lay down, drink juice and count the minutes until he starts kicking me. I know this will only get worse as I get closer, but I am really hoping weekly appointments and ultrasounds are going to help.

I am really excited about this blog too. I feel like I haven' t been the mom I should this last year. Ava doesn't have a picture from last February to about June. She spent most of her summer watching TV which embarrasses me to say. So I am excited to share our moments and experiences with others. I am excited to put ourselves out in the world again rather than living like a recluse. With the exception of school and Musikgarten, we haven't done much this year.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ok, I am the worst blogger on Earth

Its been since August that I've made an entry. This is pitiful. Its been a hard thing to do. The last few months have been busy ones with a new business (musikgarten) and Ava's school and just life in general. Its hard to believe Thanksgiving is only a few days away.

Jacob is on my mind every day. This year has been an interesting journey. I have a son in heaven who would be 9 months old. He would be sitting in a high chair at Thanksgiving probably making a giant mess with mashed potatoes. I've got a 2 year old who is going on 15 right now. I heard her tell an older boy the other day she was 3. Its already started. And now I've got a rainbow on the way.

I wanted to get pregnant right away. When I lost Jacob I asked my doctor before we left the hospital when I could try again. I looked at Yoshi and said, "I want to try as soon as we can!" He assured me we'd do whatever we could. At that time it was total desperation. But a few months passed and the time came it I wasn't so sure my heart was ready. As usual, we were blessed right away. The first trimester was total hell. We didn't tell our families until we were 15 weeks. I was petrified every moment that I wasn't pregnant anymore. My sweet doctor saw me constantly for reassurance. I promised myself I wouldn't buy this baby a thing until he was here. I wouldn't wash any clothes or buy any diapers. I wouldn't get too "attached."

That is really a strange idea though. How do you not get attached to your child? I mean, this isn't a puppy we are talking about. So the second trimester came and we found out we are having another boy. Ava is so happy, she actually predicted it was a brother! Yoshi is thrilled again. I am terrified and excited to have a chance to bring home another boy.

Its hard not to get excited an optimistic. Everything is normal so far as it was with Jacob. Part of me wants a normal pregnancy. I want to be thrilled and planning a nursery and picking out clothes. I want to have no doubt. At first I didn't want to do a thing, but why shouldn't I plan and make things special for this one? Because I don't want to get my hopes up? Will keeping this all to myself make it easier if I lose him too? I don't think so. I think if I didn't try and make things special for him I would regret it.

Grief is such an interesting thing. Especially where I am right now. I can have really good days. I can be completely overwhelmed with joy one minute and back down the next. Its kind of funny because you never quite know what it is going to be that gets you. Yesterday I saw some family pictures of a friend with her family of four. I just got sad and angry. That should be my family, and even when it is my family I will always be one short. My life will never be complete.

I feel like I am living with this. I don't want too, but I don't really have a choice. So I've been thinking about making a family blog instead of a Jacob blog (since I am so good at blogging in the first place lol) I want to share all of my family. I want to put the good, bad and ugly all in one place.